Small Asian mongoose
- Photo credit: ©Chung Bill Bill
- Herpestes javanicus
- Common Names: Small Asian mongoose, Small Indian mongoose
- Habitat: It prefers arid or semi-arid habitats, but highly adaptable. It is found in woodland, agricultural areas, riparian and wetland areas, deserts, and urban areas
- Description: The Small Asian mongoose is a small mammal whose natural range extends from Iran to northern India and Indochina. The species is already a major pest in many locations across the world and it is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature among the world’s 100 worst invaders.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: The Small Asian mongoose is a small mammal whose natural range extends from Iran to northern India and Indochina. The species was deliberately introduced to a number of Croatian islands in the early 20th century to control populations of the venomous horned viper. Because the species is so adaptable, it could readily spread to other Southern European countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Portugal and Spain) if the opportunity arose.
- Potential or Known Impacts: It is an opportunistic feeder. It has also devoured significant numbers of native reptiles, amphibians and farmland birds, causing a major loss of biodiversity as well as significant economic damage. The species is already a major pest in many locations across the world and it is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature among the world’s 100 worst invaders.
- How did it/could it get here?
Intentional release as biological control, however EU bans on sales, removal from zoos and collections, and rapid eradication means that this is an impossible future.
- Is it found in Ireland or Northern Ireland? Not present in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Static Distribution Map as of December 2019 - Courtesy of CEDaR
- Methods for Prevention: A sales ban, the phasing out from zoos, collections and any other ownership, and a rapid eradication of any newly emerging populations should prevent the species from spreading further within the EU.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.